Part of the educational mission of the Texas Center is to create an appreciation for our great state. We do this by teaching Texas specific courses like The Political Economy of Modern Texas, but also by sponsoring the UTD Texas Political Forums.
In the spring term of even numbered years, we offer students the opportunity to examine the changing nature of Texas’ political economy by exploring the state’s political structures and policy problems. The course presents unique learning opportunities for students by providing them with direct access to Texas leaders who will give personal insights in lectures to the class. Over the years, dozens of state officials have given of their time to teach our students about Texas and its policy-making. In 2008, our students discussed the appropriations process with Appropriations Chairman Warren Chisum, tax policy with Ways and Means Chairman Jim Keffer and the increasing influence of Latinos with Representative Pete Gallego, Chairman of the Mexican-American Caucus.
The Texas Political Forums are campus wide events where individual state officials, or groups of officials are invited to discuss policy initiatives or state politics. In the past, these events generated great interest on the UTD campus with the crowds filling our largest auditorium. These events have fostered a greater interest in Texas and its political system on our campus and in North Texas.